15 July 2020
46 pallets of luxury chocolates have been donated to FareShare's network of warehouses across the UK. The 26,750 boxes of Godiva chocolates, worth almost £200,000, were provided by Manchester-based businessman Michael Josephson MBE, owner and CEO of Stocks 2015 Ltd, and will be provided to vulnerable people around Greater Manchester and nationally across the FareShare network.
“During these difficult and uncertain times, extra special treats such as the kind donation of Godiva chocolates can really help to ease pressure and bring a bit of normality for people who are struggling. We are grateful for Michael's generosity which we know will be so appreciated by the thousands of vulnerable we support each week.”
Miranda Kaunang, Head of Development at FareShare Greater Manchester
FareShare is the nation's largest food redistributor, with more than 30 warehouses across the UK. The charity diverts surplus food within the food industry – which would otherwise go to waste – to vulnerable people who might not otherwise eat, via a network of 11,000 frontline charities and community groups across the UK. Projects receiving food include homeless hostels, domestic violence refuges, food banks and hospices.
The donation of Godiva chocolates comes at a crucial time for FareShare, which has seen demand for its service soar since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK. Since lockdown measures were introduced the charity has tripled the volume of food it distributes and is now providing enough food for vulnerable people each week to create 3 million meals.
Michael Josephson is known for his charity work and often speaks out about his own experiences of childhood poverty and abuse, and of the knock-on effects this had on his mental health as a young adult. In 2015 after having turned his life around, he set up a hugely successful surplus stock company called Stocks 2015 Ltd. Michael's greatest passion is supporting the most vulnerable children in our society. In his spare time Michael raises funds for children’s charities in the North West and, to date, has generated over £5m through his personal donation and fundraising. In January 2016 he was honoured with an MBE for Services to Children. In 2019 he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall.
Michael said: “I am in a position professionally that allows me to identify opportunities to help others. I love the work that FareShare does and I’ve been on that side of the tracks. When I was a kid, sweets and chocolates were a luxury and something I never really experienced. I know that these will bring some happiness. We all deserve chocolate once in a while.”
Miranda Kaunang, Head of Development at FareShare Greater Manchester, said “The outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK has placed millions of people in hardship with many struggling to afford or access food. Across the UK FareShare has seen demand skyrocket and we’re now distributing almost triple the amount of food each week compared to the same period last year.
“During these difficult and uncertain times, extra special treats such as the kind donation of Godiva chocolates can really help to ease pressure and bring a bit of normality for people who are struggling. We are very grateful for Michael's generosity which we know will be so appreciated by the thousands of vulnerable we support each week.”